Obstacles on the Journey

When a baby is born we get so excited! Our hearts open wide. A glow of blessing rests visibly on the mother and the newborn.

Life is a gift from God, yet the destiny of each newborn is known only to his or her Creator. Where will his journey take him? What will she do in her lifetime? God has a purpose for all creatures, including – of course – each new human being. Each life has meaning and worth. No one is an accident, even those born with severe handicaps.

As they grow, parents endeavor to instill tools in their young ones, to equip and prepare them for all that life holds. Parents guide the child’s path of discovery and stimulate his senses: sight, touch, hearing, smelling … it is wonderful to see.

In the coming years, teachers, counselors, leaders and others will speak into the child’s life. He will mature and find ways to overcome personal and environmental obstacles. All this eventually helps the now grown child find his place in society, stand on his own and fulfill his destiny. On the way he or she may well get married. The new couple will grow and learn from each other. Soon a baby will be born, starting the whole miraculous cycle over again.

Scoring Under Pressure

When a basketball player stands on the foul line to shoot a free throw, the opposing crowd makes noise trying to distract the player’s attention and cause him to miss. Coaches prepare their players for this difficult situation by applying various pressures during practice sessions. This is done for a good purpose – to get the player accustomed to focusing on the goal, and not allowing himself to be confused and affected by adversity.

In the same manner, a teen or young adult is surrounded by a whole series of pressures and demands. That carefully coddled and educated baby grew up and is now exposed to a world full of things that are liable to confuse and distract him from the goal. Parents have the central all-important task of continuing to diligently rear and protect; to pass on skills that will stand strong against the storms and pressures of society. Indeed bad company corrupts good morals, and we must always work toward having good company around our children. But our main role is to exemplify a life of integrity and faith, a foundation of trust in the Master Yeshua.

Our journey is defined by our responses to the difficulties we encounter. Challenges shape our character, change our thought patterns and give us he desire to improve. External crises can come from peers and society. Internal ones are me trying to deal with my identity. Who and what am I? Why am I here on this earth? For what purpose?

There is no such thing as a life without some kind of effort and struggle. These difficulties can drive the believer who is well trained in the Word of God, to trust in the Lord’s overall plan and to stand fast, declaring victory. The Bible reveals to us the purpose of our time here on earth. We are journeying through this existence towards the eternal One who is our future.

Even mature believers have trials and challenges. These crises give us the opportunity to take a break from our busy routines, and internalize how we can move forward with improvement and change. Perhaps we have made mistakes, and the Lord wants us to alter the way we do certain things.

We must always be ready to be transformed, all the while dedicating our lives to Yeshua and putting aside our personal desires to serve His purposes. At the end of the day His will is going to be a whole lot better for me and everyone else, than mine!

Let us stand, focused and prepared to deal with any turmoil the enemy might send our way, since he goes around like a lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

This temporal journey through the valley of sun and shadow is a great gift. Allow God to guide you and strengthen you, through the obstacles along the journey.

This article originally appeared in Israel’s Restoration Newsletter, February 2016.